FORT WAYNE – Indiana needed a big play to try to get back into its Sept. 15 game against Ball State.
Up stepped wide receiver Cody Latimer.
Quarterback Nate Sudfeld connected with Latimer for a 70-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
I ran the route and saw an opening. The quarterback saw me, and it just took off from there, Latimer said after Tuesday’s practice. I was like, I’m not going to let them catch me. This is a momentum-changer right here. I’ve got to score.’
Latimer’s touchdown helped bring the Hoosiers within six of the Cardinals. IU eventually took the lead, only to lose on a last-second field goal 41-39.
Indiana had a bye last week and is now preparing for Saturday’s Big Ten opener against Northwestern.
It was a great bye week. We made great improvements as a team, Latimer said. This is the major time of the year right here. I’m very excited.
Latimer has provided some early excitement for the Hoosiers’ offense. The sophomore leads the team with 223 receiving yards.
I think he has a good skill set. He has good size and speed. He has the qualities to be a very good receiver for us, IU coach Kevin Wilson said during the Big Ten teleconference.
He’s a big kid. He has good hands. He is learning every day and getting better. He has a lot of qualities you’re looking for.
Latimer has 13 catches and two touchdowns. Both touchdown receptions came against Ball State. The 6-foot-3, 208-pounder from Dayton finished with four catches for 115 yards against the Cardinals. He is averaging 74.3 yards per game, which ranks fourth in the Big Ten. He is tied for eighth in the league with 4.67 catches per game.
I just want to keep growing mentally, physically and keep making plays for my team, Latimer said.
Latimer caught touchdown passes from both Cameron Coffman and Sudfeld in the game. Coffman had to leave the game because of a hip pointer. Wilson said at his weekly news conference that Coffman will return as the starter against the Wildcats.
Latimer has bounced back after an injury-plagued freshman season. He appeared in eight games in 2011, making 12 catches for 141 yards. Latimer has already surpassed those numbers this season.
He played early (last season), but he was fighting with a sports hernia, Wilson said. I really felt in preseason that we had a really good young player who was going to be a diamond-in-the-rough kind of guy. We were disappointed that he did have his little snag.
The injury kind of slowed him. With the emphasis of passing, and his maturity, his development, I think he’s in position to have a solid season for us. He’s a good, young player with a lot of potential. He has a long way to go, but he’s off to a good start.